Tuesday 12 August 2008

Union to lodge individual claims with retail companies

Pay talks collapse around issue of low pay

Mandate trade union say they are hugely disappointed with the collapse of the national wage negotiations last night.

General Secretary of Mandate, John Douglas said, “Mandate is very disappointed with the failure of last night’s talks. The trade union representatives were hugely committed to reaching an agreement but any sort of agreement would have needed to recognise the problem of low pay.”

“The talks have failed because the employer’s bodies fail to recognise that Irish workers are suffering from huge inflationary pressures and are really struggling at the moment. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Government were committed to a flat rate increase for all employees which would protect low paid workers from dropping below the poverty line.

“IBEC put forward a proposal seeking an initial pay freeze for 6 months which from our point of view is unrealistic. Workers have already had what is essentially a pay freeze for the last year due to cost of living increases and now the employer’s bodies want workers to take what is really a pay cut for the next 6 months.

“How can low paid workers, who are living at or below the poverty line now, sustain themselves and their families for a full year with the imminent gas price increases and electricity price increase not to mention food inflation?”

As a result of last night’s failure to reach an agreement, Mandate will now lodge individual pay claims with employers in the retail sector. “We will be seeking a substantial flat rate pay increase for our members with immediate effect along with other non pay issues.”